Anita Steckel, Bring it on, 2004–2008
Anita Steckel: Lust
Sep 8 – Oct 14, 2023
Wonnerth Dejaco
Wien, Austria

For this year’s Curated by festival, WONNERTH DEJACO presents the first European solo exhibition to focus on the work of American feminist artist, political satirist and activist Anita Steckel as well as a series of readings by French writer Constance Debré and British artist, writer and political dominatrix Reba Maybury. Curated by writer and curator Juliette Desorgues, LUST, a term suggestive of both desire and play, is an interdisciplinary programme, which places three transgenerational figures in dialogue to reflect on questions of power, gender and sexuality.

A key figure of the 1950s and 60s New York downtown scene, Anita Steckel developed an oeuvre consisting of photographic, collage and drawing-based work that blossomed during the context of the Western women’s liberation movement of the 1970s. In 1973, she co-founded the Fight Censorship collective with fellow New York-based feminist artists Judith Bernstein, Louise Bourgeois, Joan Semmel and Hannah Wilke amongst others, a group brought together through their common practice of sexually explicit art against a backdrop of prevailing sexism and puritanism in the art establishment. Drawn from Steckel’s archive and estate, the works presented in this exhibition span five decades of her rich oeuvre, from the 1960s to the 2000s. Phallic symbolism is depicted throughout as a cypher of systemic patriarchal power that Steckel playfully subverts as both an object of satirical intent and an apparatus of sexual desire. The imposing naked bodies of women are also deployed as signifiers both of vulnerable unease and emancipatory release.

Constance Debré and Reba Maybury will perform readings of new and recent texts within the context of Steckel’s exhibition for the opening weekend. Whilst Debré’s style of writing piercingly chronicles her own personal life, the rejection of institutional bourgeois structures and exploration of her queer sexuality; Maybury’s texts act as conceptual manifestos to her work as a political dominatrix which centres on subverting traditional gender power relations through and within sex work.

[ . . . ]

The exhibition responds to the framing of this year’s Curated by festival – The Neutral – as a provocation. Within the context of today’s social and political upheavals, from the recent overturning of the Roe vs Wade decision in the United States to the denial of Transgender rights in numerous Western countries, any notion of neutrality is debunked when considering the on-going battles over the governance of bodies and the geo-political consequences of these power relations. And yet, given this context, what does it mean to consider the work of a first wave feminist figure such as Anita Steckel in a time of ‘heteropessimism’, as coined by writer Asa Seresin? It is in the refusal towards ambivalence as a political and embodied stance, which marked Steckel’s much overlooked life and work, that answers can be found. As with Steckel, the work of Debré and Maybury indeed also reveals how, in lieu of neutrality, a position may be taken, one which boldly asserts a self-determination that spits in the eye of conservative and repressive forces.

  • Paolo Novelli. The Day After Night
    Jun 14 – Jul 21, 2024
    Turin, Italy

    Paolo Novelli‘s (Brescia, 1976) exhibition entitled Il giorno dopo la notte (“The Day After Night”) brings together in the same space two cycles of his work made between 2011 and 2018, which are central to the evolution of his language. Both are made in analog in strict black and white, with the printing process being of paramount importance. The only subjects of the two series are windows covered by closed or bricked-up shutters on the facades of buildings without particularly attractive architectural features. (more…)

  • Miranda July: New Society
    Mar 7 – Oct 14, 2024
    Fondazione Prada
    Milan, Italy

    Curated by Mia Locks, Miranda July: New Society is the first solo museum exhibition dedicated to Miranda July’s work. Spanning three decades, from the early 1990’s until today, the exhibition includes early short films, performance, and multimedia installations. The exhibition debuts F.A.M.I.L.Y (Falling Apart Meanwhile I Love You), a multi-channel video installation July made in collaboration with seven strangers via Instagram. (more…)

  • Max Beckmann
    Artist / Painter
    Featured Profile

    Max Beckmann (1884–1950) was a German painter, draftsman, printmaker, sculptor, and writer. Although he is classified as an Expressionist artist, he rejected both the term and the movement. In the 1920s, he was associated with the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit), an outgrowth of Expressionism that opposed its introverted emotionalism. (more…)

  • Bastardie
    Jun 7–30, 2024
    Paris, France

    How can speech practices that trouble official languages disrupt the established social order and open up other configurations? Do they have the potential to impact the way we look or act? Its title pays tribute to Alice Becker-ho, a linguist associated with the Situationist International, known for her interest in the lexicons of gypsies and Roma. (more…)

  • Helen Cammock: I Will Keep My Soul

    Convening polyphonous voices from past and present, I Will Keep My Soul is an orchestral layering of photography, historical documents, poetry and interviews, all rooted in the social history, geography and community of New Orleans. In this prismatic artist’s book, UK-based artist Helen Cammock traverses the city, rendering her observations and encounters into reverberant texts and percipient photographic images that tender the city’s invisible histories. (more…)

  • Polly Braden: Leaving Ukraine
    Mar 15 – Sep 15, 2024
    Foundling Museum
    London, UK

    Polly Braden: Leaving Ukraine is an intimate portrait of women, forced to leave their homes following the Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. In this new series of work we see the extraordinary journeys undertaken by mothers, daughters, teenagers and babies in arms. Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, Polly Braden has used her camera to document the lives of women and children unexpectedly scattered across Europe. (more…)

Visit our New Announcement Submission page > Announcement Submission page >